New shows on my radar

1. Breaking Bad

This is a new show starring Malcolm in the Middle‘s Brian Cranston as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher with lung cancer, a teenager with cerebral palsy and a wife with a kid in the oven that decides to use his considerable skills with chemicals to make really pure meth. It’s kind of a dark cross between Weeds and American Beauty. I have to stress that it’s very dark. After the second episode, I questioned whether I could handle the other five episodes (there have only been seven episodes so far). On a more meta level, it’s really nice to see AMC taking a risk with a new show after the success of Mad Men. They really have high quality shows coming out of their channel. It’s also nice that they are trying something that is not ripping off or trying to emulate the success of Mad Men.
It is also nice to see a cable company trying a more British approach to shows. Instead of creating a good show then flogging it to death, they seem more willing to create shows with a constrained, almost telenovela-esque arc.
2. Top Chef
I won’t even put a picture. I know how late I am to the party on this one. I’ll only say that I used to be a fan of Hell’s Kitchen, but now can never go back.
3. Summer Heights High

Summer Heights High is a really funny show out of Austrailia which has been around for a while (it has finished its second first season) but has only popped up on my radar now. It is written by and starring Chris Lilley as three characters in a suburban Austrailian public school. Chris Lilley is kind of an Austrailian Ricky Gervais, and it really got me thinking about whether we have an American equivalent. Steve Carrell is doing the same schtick with The Office, but that’s based on a British TV concept. I’d love to hear any ideas in the comments.

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